There is so much advice about raising kids, and gradually more and more about raising teens, but when it comes to young adults, poof! There’s nothing.
And I know that’s because they are adults, of course. You don’t “parent” adults. But as I grow into this business I’m realizing there’s a lot more involved than just throwing them some cheery high-fives every now and again.
I know there are other “fellow sufferers” our there trying to figure out how to do the business of “being there,” but also “not being there” with their young adults. And although these thoughts may sound light-hearted, there are really some deep-down solemn things I’ve been wrestling with how to help lately.
So I wanted to share some thoughts I had on a hike Dave and I went on with some of those young adults of ours this summer.
We were lost, thick into the prickly-yet-gorgeous purple thistles of the Utah mountains.
We had crossed some construction and the path was gone. (We were walking right through the trench they had dug and realized we missed “the way.”)
We worked together, used two maps, and realized whenever there was a question we just needed to remember to keep going “up.”
And finally (after a lot of steep trudging) we found our way to a pretty glorious vista.
It reminded me that sometimes that’s how parenting is.
We are in such new, unknown terrain.
Not just right now as we try to find the right balance with so many adult kids, (this is tricky business I tell you!), but isn’t it that way in all of parenting?
We think we’re on the path and then we realize we’re not. We have a lot of studying of maps and working together to do.
And it’s tiring. Sometimes seemingly all uphill.
But THEN! Oh then….we get to that vista and can see where we’ve come from and all the growth that has happened.
And it makes all that trudging mean something.
Then, of course, another trickier climb seems to always find its way in front of us.
With briars and thorns along the way.
And THEN, just when you think all your troubles are over (again), and you are pleased as punch with yourself, sitting in the shade, enjoying the fruits of your labors:
…you realize you can’t take your dog on the lift with you back down.
So you trudge, sometimes all alone, back down. Into the fray.
Life is filled up to the brim with that rollercoaster, don’t you think? The long climbs, the “descending,” then the “push.”
But I’m here to send some love and encouragement to those like me who are in the arena right now, wherever you are.
A vista is surely around the bend.
As far as young adults go, maybe the bottom line is, do they know you adore them?
I guess the trick is to realize more and more how much we can see when we reach “up.” And trust the Source who knows the terrain, and those young adults we’re trying to “not be there for,” so much better than we do.